What should an employee do when they determine that their entire executive management practices everything in complete opposite of each and every Manager-Tools podcast?

Are there any recommended methods to push the concepts of Manager Tools upward?

rgbiv99's picture

Mark and Mike would probably say that change in a company starts with ever increasing concentric circles around your desk. In other words, if you want to change company culture, start with your own behavior. 

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Make what changes you can, when you can, towards the MT model.  Unless something is barred, introduce it in your area of control until you're told to stop. 

  • If you manage staff, introduce the trinity. 
  • If you run meetings then follow the MT model for the agenda and running the meeting. 
  • If you have a conversation, make it an effective one.
  • Write what you write effectively.
  • If you give presentations, pre-wire them.

Look at what's there and how you can use it in your own work.  Even if it's just the calendar management and thank you notes, that's a start.  Also, remember that although this is called 'Manager Tools' a lot of the casts are just as useful to Individual Contributors.

Eventually either you'll be able to get a much better job elsewhere or you'll succeed where you are and get promoted to somewhere that you can introduce more of the various tools across a larger area and so the cycle begins again.  If you're effective enough people will start to copy you and ask where you get all these great ideas from!

One cautionary note though, you've made a statement about a judgement you've made about your organisation.  You probably don't work for the same organisation as me (although your description could certainly fit to what I feel I observe on my more jaded days) so I don't know what your organisation is like.  Maybe you're spot on.  But you might not be.  Mike and Mark have mentioned in at least one cast that what the workers below see is not necessarily what the management above see or the executives at the top see.  Which brings me onto the subject line of this post and an evocative description of a company from the book I'm reading right now ("Is your boss mad", I'll be posting a review in the appropriate forum when I finish it):  "A company is like a tree full of monkeys.  Those at the top look down and see a mass of smiling faces, those at the bottom look up and see a load of asses."  What I take from that is two things:  What you see isn't necessarily what is there or may only be a small part;  In so far as possible make sure that when those below you look up they see a smiling face, not another part of your anatomy.



jhack's picture

I agree with Stephen: 

You can't succeed on the path of getting your bosses to change (they don't work for you...)  

Be a great manager, get promoted.  Repeat.  

Or search for a company that meets your standards.  Beware of disappointment there.  


mikehansen's picture

Well, sort of.  This cast talks about doing O3s with your boss who does not do O3s.  It is the most concrete advice I have found from MT on the subject.

I definitely agree with advice in the above posts.  I will add that you have the opportunity to hone some critical skills in your current situation.  In particular the ability to be effective with a Manager and thus a Management culture that does not operate in an effective way. 

Following the guidance above and elsewhere here at MT, you will outshine most of your peers.  They will be passive in the face of ineffective leadership, while you will adjust your behavior to maximize your impact and opportunity based on how you interact with those above you.

The skills gained in succeeding in this less than optimal environment will carry you a long way down the road.  Don't be frustrated by it, embrace the chaos.

My .02



eastbayrider's picture

My observation, for what it's worth, is that discovering Manager Tools is much like someone discovering religion. It makes so much sense and it provides answers to the questions that plaque working people. Real life solutions to the problems experienced daily in the lives of office folk are explained with depth and clarity. Those that care enough to hear the lessons get excited, motivated and want to share it with the world. We want to spread the common sense all around us. I have recommended Manager Tools podcasts to my friends that I think could benefit.

Unfortunately Manager Tools only flows downhill and can only be absorbed upward very passively and only if those above happen to notice and choose to realize the effort. This is especially difficult if you work in a smallish company where senior managers are quite content to absorb your efforts as their own and they stay at their jobs for many many years.
It's frustrating to be sure. Set a good example, stay positive and hope others notice. Good luck.

Davis Staedtler's picture


I really like all the above advice. Some of it speaks to me as well, and I'm in a pretty good environment.

For what it's worth, let me ask you what kind of professional relationship do you have with executive management? Do you grab coffee with them? Follow them on FaceBook or LinkedIn? Know what sport their kids play?

The answers to the latter questions will come with time, but I would suggest, assuming you haven't already, build a professional but genuine relationship with them.

-Davis (not the 'davis' in the forums :)

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Let me explain.

No, there is too much.

Let me sum up.


It doesn't work.  It will end in tears.  They will scoff.  How many times can I say it?  How many times do I have to say it?




I promise a cast on this within the next 2 months. 



mikehansen's picture

Because they quote Princess Bride.... :)

Made me chuckle :)

mrkthompsn's picture

 Thanks professor Horstman!

I practice one-on-ones, feedback, coaching etc. with my two directs, and it does indeed help the alignment.